Winter sports aren't cheap. Between travel expenses, lift tickets, and those ridiculously overpriced sandwiches in the lodge, even a day trip can run you a pretty penny. And if you're an aficionado, who'll essentially be taking up residence on your favorite mountain for the foreseeable future, you may want to consider a financial planner.

But the hit that can most severely wipe out your pockets? That would be gear. While it's hard for most to justify spending a couple stacks on something that basically equates to a hobby, those of you that fall into the fanatic category need not be reminded of the importance of reliable equipment. Having a set-up that works for you can make the difference between an unbelievable and an unbelievably shitty day at the mountain — especially here in the Northeast, where we're not graced with blankets of powder for six months of the year.

READ: Ski and Snowboard Guide 2011

Well, since we here at the Phoenix love nothing more than saving you time and money, we took to a couple of our favorite local proprietors of all-things-snow to help break down some trending technologies for the 2010–'11 season. Peter Lieberman from Centre Ski and Bike of Watertown (soon to be of Newton) offers up the newest of new in the world of skis, boots, and bindings. And Brian Fiske of Eastern Boarder's Nashua shop gives us the rundown on what you should be looking for when buying a board — whether you frequent greens, blacks, or half pipes — and also discusses a new, potentially game-changing binding system from Burton. So let's step aside and let the experts take over from here.


K2 SWEET LUV WOMEN'S SKIS WITH BINDINGS | $499.99 One of the new features that is appearing this season is what's called rockering. Instead of the normal ordinary arched camber, the skis will have a little bit of an upturn. The effect of this is to heighten and increase the ease of turning because it gives a different weight distribution on the ski. This is just appearing this year for the first time. That is probably the single most salient difference that applies to both ski and snowboard. A number of manufacturers have introduced it. K2 is one of the leading ones. You can find it in Rossignol as well. It doesn't apply to every ski because it's more relevant to helping skiers at a certain level — the better skiers are going to get less benefits.

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  Topics: Sports , Snowboarding, Burton, Skiing,  More more >
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 See all articles by: MICHAEL C. WALSH